Savory Pesto, Feta and Sour Cherry Muffins

This week is Spring Break where I live, but, no, I haven’t been tanning all day or partying all night (perhaps this weekend). I have been having a quiet stay-at-home week, living the stay-at-home-mom life, waking up slowly, cooking simple meals, spending hours at Barnes & Noble with Maya every day, browsing children’s books and reading cookbooks and gossip magazines. Quite an uneventful, ordinary (or rather extraordinary) week but one we enjoyed every bit of.

Amid the peaceful redundant rhythm of our week’s routine, I made these muffins. I’m usually a sweet-muffin-or-no-muffin-at-all type of girl but I have been doing some soul searching for likings that haven’t surfaced yet, and deep down, very deep down, I have found a craving for savory muffins ready to materialize. I gathered my ingredients and improvised these — yes, I’m one of those people who can cook and bake without a recipe. Don’t hate me for that, please.


The olive oil in these muffins gives them a lovely, light texture that makes them dangerously alluring (don’t be surprised if you eat a few too many). The basil, sunflower seeds, feta and sour cherries are such different, contrasting elements but together, they make beautiful muffins inside and out.

I will definitely make them again.



Yield: 8 MUFFINS

Prep Time: 10 MIN

Cook Time: 15 MIN


A medium handful fresh basil leaves (about 30)

2 tablespoons roasted sunflower seeds, plus more for topping the muffins

¾ cup olive oil

3 large eggs

2 tablespoons plain yogurt

2 tablespoons honey

1 cup whole wheat flour

½ teaspoon sea salt

½ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

¼ cup dried Bing or sour cherries, plus more for topping the muffins

¼ cup crumbled feta cheese, plus more for topping the muffins


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a muffin tin with 8 paper or silicone cups.

Process the basil, sunflower seeds and olive oil in a food processor into a smooth (and very oily) pesto.

Transfer the pesto to the bowl of an electric mixer. Add the eggs, yogurt and honey, and mix until well combined. Sift the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda into a bowl and add them to the wet ingredients in the mixer. Mix until you obtain a smooth batter. Fold in the dried cherries and crumbled feta.

Divide the batter among the cups. Top each muffin with some sunflower seeds, feta and a few dried cherries, pressing them in lightly. Bake until set, 15 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Let cool and enjoy!


Other Muffin Recipes:

Coconut Flour Muffins with Raspberries

Strawberry and White Chocolate Muffins

Chocolate Flaxseed Muffins with Apples


5 Responses to “Savory Pesto, Feta and Sour Cherry Muffins”

  1. 1

    Eha — 03/30/2012 @ 5:19 pm

    Oft it is not easy being an ardent foodie and a pretty knowledgeable nutritionist at the same time! Normally I baker I am not. But, as you have shown, there are ways and means :) ! These look and sound so interesting I cannot wait to collect all the ingredients and have a go!!

  2. 2

    Velva — 03/31/2012 @ 6:18 am

    Sometimes the best spring breaks are those spent at home. Like you, this year I stayed home and it was wonderful. I nested the whole week. Cooking, cleaning reading,etc.

    Your muffins look delightful. Thanks for sharing the recipe with us.


  3. 3

    Angie@Angie's Recipes — 04/01/2012 @ 8:41 am

    Those muffins look fantastic! And they are healthy enough to eat as breakfast!

  4. 4

    Barbara — 04/02/2012 @ 6:23 am

    Nisrine, you have come up with a tasty AND healthy muffin. Very unusual recipe and I’m going to try it soon!

  5. 5

    El — 04/02/2012 @ 7:57 am

    What a perfect treat for spring break. Enjoy!

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